As you know, college costs are continuing to skyrocket across the nation. This is a major problem for millions of American families who know that college holds the key to the career success of their children—but don’t want to take on tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt in pursuit of a degree. Unfortunately, there’s not much reason to expect this situation to get better. Politicians in both parties talk about the importance of affordable education… but they’ve talked that way for decades, and prices have continued to skyrocket.
But just because the cost of a college degree has continued to rise doesn’t mean that your family has to pay the price. There are a number of strategies that can help you get more money in the form of financial aid, greatly reducing the amount you are forced to pay out of your savings—or borrow.
It starts with determining your Expected Family Contribution, or EFC. Your EFC is essentially the amount of money you are expected to contribute to the cost of your (or your child’s) education. Your EFC is used by the college to determine how much financial aid to award. (The higher the EFC, the less need-based aid that will be awarded.) Unfortunately, many families find that their EFC is significantly higher than they can actually afford.
As you can see, lowering your EFC is a great way to receive more financial aid. And believe it or not, there are a number of completely legal ways to do this—including timing big purchases, avoiding capital gains, paying down debt, etc. (Note that this process can be very complicated—we highly recommend that you give us a call if you’d like to learn more!) It’s obviously important that you avoid dishonesty and misrepresentation of your financial picture, as these actions will come back to harm you at some point.
If you would like to learn more about minimizing your EFC in order to maximize the amount of financial aid you or your student receives, get in touch with us today. In today’s competitive economy, a college degree is more important than ever before—but also much more expensive. Let us help you ensure that your student receives the education he or she needs… without sacrificing your financial future!